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Brand Salience and Customer Defection in Subscription Markets

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Abstract:

Drawing on research concerning the range of cues consumer's use to access brands for consideration, and the effect of frequency of exposure, we examine the concept of brand salience, which is based on the likelihood of the brand to come to the 'forefront' of the mind of a consumer. We show how a measure of brand salience is related to the probability of switching suppliers in subscription markets (e.g. insurance, banking). We have discovered a generalisable relationship between brand salience and the probability of customer defection. This relationship was consistent across three studies that covered two markets, two data collection methods, two image questioning methods and two types of attributes. This is an important finding for marketing management because it suggests that brand/attribute links in memory can influence consumer behaviour in a way that is independent of the content or importance of the attributes. Our finding might even allow managers to forecast the effect of a change in brand salience in terms of numbers of customer defections.

Keywords: BRAND SALIENCE; BRANDS IMAGE; CUSTOMER DEFECTION; CUSTOMER LOYALTY; CUSTOMER RETENTION; DESCRIPTIVE ATTRIBUTES; PERCEPTIONS; SUBSCRIPTION MARKETS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725703763771953

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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